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Trump Rushed off Stage in Reno due to Security Threat | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Trump rushed off stage by Secret Service (Reuters)

Washington – Donald Trump was rushed off stage by Secret Service agents Saturday night during a campaign rally in Reno, Nevada, but the candidate emerged back on stage after a few minutes and finished his speech.

The incident began when a man holding a “Republicans against Trump” sign was attacked few minutes after Trump began his speech. People began hitting him and then someone shouted “gun”, which prompted the Secret Service to take Trump off stage.

The U.S. Secret Service issued a statement saying that it took action after “an unidentified individual shouted “gun” in front of the stage. Agents apprehended the person, but found no gun, the statement said, adding that an investigation into the incident continues.

The man, who later identified himself as Austyn Crites, was then immediately detained and led out by a throng of police officers, Secret Service agents and SWAT officers armed with assault rifles to a side room. He was released shortly afterwards and a law enforcement official stated that no charges were filed against Crites.

Austyn Crites, 33, was released shortly after the incident, according to reports. He said he was holding a “Republicans against Trump” sign.

“When I pulled out the sign, people around me were trying to grab the sign,” Crites told NBC, and “so all that was occurring was booing, of course. That’s what you would expect.”

People from the surrounding crowd tackled him, Crites said. They started “kicking me and grabbing me in the crotch and just beating the crap out of me,” Crites said.

Crites said he was then assaulted by a group of people before anyone shouted anything about a gun.

Crites stressed that he just wanted to voice his displeasure and has no association with the Clinton campaign, other than personally supporting the Democratic nominee. He added that he is an old Republican supporter who previously voted for several republicans.

“I was a Republican supporter through the primaries, and I have donated money to the Hillary Clinton campaign recently because I think that Trump is a disaster for the country,” he said, adding he has already voted for Clinton.

The GOP presidential nominee later released a statement thanking the Secret Service and local law enforcement for their “fast and professional response,” adding that “nothing will stop us — we will make America great again!”

Later, Trump Jr. claimed on twitter that his father survived an assassination attempt. He tweeted: “Thank you to the Secret Service for their never ending vigilance protecting my father. As I’m sure you know our whole family is grateful!”